Wolves vs Middlesbrough
England – The Championship
Date: Saturday, 5th August 2017
Kick off at 15:00 UK/16:00 CET
That’s probably one of the most anticipated games in the opening round of The Championship. Two sides with big ambitions which opened their checkbooks in the summer will hope for a positive start of their campaigns.
Wolves finished 15th last season. Their most notable trait of the season was their inconsistency which at some points was too apparent. They accumulated 6 losses in a row in February and had an 11 game run without victory in October/November.
Sure enough they also had streaks with 5 straight victories. The team was just bouncing up and down not really predictable where it will land. Well it landed on 15th place but that for a team with Wolves ambitions is not nearly enough. At the end of May Nuno Santo took charge of the team bringing some new blood along with him.
Ruben Navas is obviously the focal point of the selection after the young midfielder joined Wolves from Portuguese side Porto for over 15 million. Another Portuguese player joined the ranks as defender Roderick Miranda departed Rio Ave. Keeper John Rudy and defender Ryan Bennet were brought from Norwich in hopes of improving the defensive line.
A few players joined on a season long loans from top clubs and the team looks to be really distinctive from last seasons side. The new head coach has to make sure the new players blend in well into the team and produce the performances all Wolves fans are eager to see.
Middlesbrough will want to put back last season. They were relegated from the English top flight and will be looking to bounce back straight up. The team picked up only 28 points and had the worst attacking record in the league.
Boro managed to score just 27 goals from their 38 games which was obviously their main weakness. The team looked somewhat stable at the back but the lack of goals proved too much. The team was left behind by some key figures but new manager Gary Monk spent a lot of money to bring back balance to the team.
Asombalonga joined the team in a huge deal from Nottingham. The striker will be the focal point for the attacking moves of the team and will be expected to deliver much needed goals. 2 other strikers also joined the team.
Martin Braithwaite joined from Tolouse and Ashley Fletcher came from West Ham. Keeper Randolph was bought from West Ham and Johny Hawson left Norwich to play at Riverside. That makes almost a new full squad along with a new manager. It will be interesting to see how the team will cope with all the changes.
Wolves vs Middlesbrough: Head to head
There is not a single draw between the sides in their last 10 meetings. The advantage here is on the side of the visitors as Boro have 7 wins to just 3 for the Wolves.
Boro had a double the previous season those sides met in The Championship.
Wolves vs Middlesbrough: Prediction
Both teams are looking completely revamped and anything can happen in this game. New managers and lots of new players are making talk about their form and style of play end the end of the last season a little bit irrelevant. Still the sides should be cautious and a goalless first half looks likely.
Both teams will be likely to want to avoid defeat more than wanting to win. Betting on draws is always a risky endeavor but this time I may prove to have value.